Where to Invade Next – Michael Moore makes sense.

slick_361969In WHERE TO INVADE NEXT Moore plays the role of ‘invader’, visiting a host of nations including Italy, France, Germany and Tunisia to commandeer policies and ideas that will improve prospects in America. What he finds is that the solutions to America’s most entrenched problems already exist in the world—they’re just waiting to be captured. The creator of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine is back with an entertaining and eye-opening call to arms.”“Academy Award®-winning director Michael Moore returns with what maybe his most provocative, subversive and hilarious film yet.

Hands up who loves Michael Moore. I see a sea of hands, mostly from outside the USA. This guy (and his producers) must be the cleverest sanest people in America, apart from Michael Stipe from REM.

I was invited to watch his latest movie ‘Where to Invade Next’ earlier this week and prepared by visiting his website michaelmoore.com. Michael had just blogged in outrage about the fact his movie had been given an ‘R’ rating in America and his post detailed how modern youth could and should sneak into movie theatres to see it (fake ID, order tickets online, bribe an older sibling to buy your ticket, “try to mimic the way older adults look and sound so as to draw less attention to yourself. Suggestions: be hunched over, look tired, stressed out; have a glaze over your eyes, or a distant stare into a bleak future of abandoned hope. Talk about your 401K or the baby keeping you up at night or something you read in the Wall Street Journal.”) I like the way he thinks.

Having seen the movie, I agree it is important that America’s youth see it. Students are our true agents of change. Maybe Donald Trump will make it part of the curriculum if he’s elected? (baaaahaaaa hysterical horror laugh just in case that actually happens oh my god it might actually happen America is buggered. Is that really happening?)

Anyhow, in ‘Where to Invade Next’ Michael takes a trip around the world to illustrate to us that the U.S government can and needs to do a whole lot better.

Michael says “My original idea was to go and invade other countries and steal things other than oil. And I would do it without firing a shot. I had three rules: (1) don’t shoot anybody; (2) don’t take any oil; and (3) bring something back home that we can use. It became clear to us once we were invading these countries that it would be much better if I made a movie about America without ever shooting a single frame of this movie in America. What would that movie look like? I liked the challenge of that.”

So he’s off to steal good ideas. And he gets his point across so well. Movie buddy and I found ourselves doing lots of laughing, shedding tears, at times sick in our stomachs, heartbroken, proud – not to mention very angry.

He visits Italy and finds out about paid holidays, employee benefits and parental leave. Did you know in Italy they get an extra whole month’s pay in December?  (+ so much more but I won’t spoil the surprise).

He visits Germany and sees a generation bravely confronting their shameful past. Not hiding from what really happened. Plaques and art decorate the streets detailing which family was taken from what house during the holocaust. He listens to children learning from these horrors and vowing to make the world a better place.

He visits Finland to hear teachers speak about no standardised tests or homework, only a few hours of school, and their aims for the children –‘mainly to be happy’. These are the highest achieving kids in the world!

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you feed merde to your kids

He visits France to find that lunch is treated like a lesson, with chefs serving a 4 course meal every day to students in the school cafeteria. He attends a meeting with the chef and head chefs from regional schools where they plan the menus. He is gobsmacked when the children look in disgust at his can of Coke. And he needs pretty broad shoulders to hear what the French chef says when he sees pictures of the American school cafeteria food.

He visits Tunisia, a Muslim country with a strongly progressive women’s policy and free contraception and abortion.

He visits Portugal, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, and Slovenia  too.

Its so good.

But its so bad. How has America got to the state its in? The footage he shows from inside American prisons is just awful. And over 50% of American taxes go on the Military. Huh? When their kids aren’t growing up healthy and happy? And what the hell is up with the guns? Read this if you can handle hearing about guns in the hands of preschoolers.

Movie buddy says “The recurring theme its not about the money its about having a happy life something the US forgot at least half a century ago!” 

Where to Invade Next states that a female approach is needed to solve these issues. Cue applause. In a country where only 20% of congress seats are reserved for women, there’s a long way to go.

And … now … turn the spotlight on New Zealand. Suffice to say, many of our actions and policies are going down the same track as America. Heads up. This is not something we can ignore. We gotta get off this path. For information on this, head over to Bryan Bruce’s website.

Where to Invade Next is another important movie from Michael Moore. Bravo Michael. My take out points are 1) things need to change 2) things can change very rapidly when the women in the community take action.

Women of New Zealand – where to next?

‘Where to Invade Next’ is in Cinemas from May 19.

Official trailer:

Here’s Michael speaking with Google about the movie, and other subjects:

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